University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

"Islam, Gender Segregation, and Political Engagement"

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Oak 438

The Middle East and North Africa has historically had the lowest political representation of women in the world, though the number of women officeholders is growing. Will having more women in politics lead women citizens to become more engaged? Or, could it depress overall levels of citizen engagement due to pervasive gender biases? To answer those questions, this paper uses a nationally-representative experiment in Tunisia. It finds that people are significantly less likely to want to contact their representatives when primed to think of a mixed-gender group of officeholders compared to women officeholders. Moreover, this pattern does not vary according to respondents' gender. Further analyses reveal that the effect is concentrated among Islamists, which is consistent with some Islamists’ opposition to gender mixing in public. This finding encourages future work examining women's political presence in socially- conservative environments where gender segregation is common.


Jeremy Pressman

Middle East Studies (primary), Office of Global Affairs, Political Science, UConn Master Calendar, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

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